The biggest difference is the program structure. Click here to look at the program structure for the two intakes
The 16 month HEC MBA program is divided into two halves - Core Phase and Personalized Phase; Core Phase is the backbone of the MBA and has common, mandatory courses for everyone. Personalized Phase allows one to customize the program and provides options for electives, internship and exchange program.
As can be seen from the table, the program structure for Sep and Jan intakes is very different. Personalized phase for Sep intake allows for a lot of options - one can attend classes at HEC for the entire 16 months, for 8 months (do the core phase at HEC, take up a long term internship and then go on exchange program) or 12 months (core phase, internship and electives/exchange).
For Jan Intake, things are completely different. They must take classes at HEC for 1 year (Core Phase and PP1) and in the last 4 months, they must either do an internship or go for exchange. Thus, even if they want, they cannot attend classes at HEC during the last 4 months.
Apart from the program structure, the main differences are:
1. Class Size - Sep intake has around 130 people and Jan intake has 60-70 people. So Sep intake allows you to interact with more people
2. Choice of electives - This comes directly from the difference in program structures. During summers, HEC attracts some great visiting professors from other universities; Sep intake is at an advantage here and I've had some of my best courses with visiting proffs.
3. Internships - In Jan intake, you can finish classes in 12 months and then start working (even full time without technically finishing your MBA). It also becomes easier to find a long internship if you are in Jan intake. So if you want to spend less time studying, Jan intake is better.